|In the world of private eyes, it’s the cool guys, the low-key joes that always get their men. And no character, fictional or otherwise, was ever more low-key than Droopy (unless, of course, they were dead). Those hanging jowls, that muttering voice…This pooch was born to be a P.I. In 1993, he finally got his chance, headlining his first Saturday morning cartoon series, Droopy, Master Detective.
Created by the legendary Tex Avery, Droopy had been part of MGM’s theatrical cartoon lineup since 1943. After decades in the business, the dog came to television as part of 1979’s The Tom and Jerry Show, but he was only a supporting player. 1990’s Tom and Jerry Kids gave Droopy a regular segment, as well as a new sidekick—a lookalike son named Dripple. Seeing that the old dog still had a few tricks left, Hanna-Barbera cast Droopy and Dripple as 1940’s-style detectives, with all the film noir trappings.
A spoof of detective films and cop shows, Droopy, Master Detective stuck the two dogs on the mean streets of an unnamed big city. Droopy was every bit as talented at catching the crooks as he had been in his theatrical shorts, and his deadpan humor kept the mood light.
Newly-made seven-minute episodes were mixed in with seven-minute reruns from Droopy and Dripple’s Tom and Jerry Kids appearances. The rest of the half-hour program was taken up by Screwball Squirrel, another Tex Avery creation from the 1940’s. “Screwy” made his home in a public park, making life miserable for hot-headed park attendant Dweeble and his moronic dog Grappley.
Droopy may have always gotten his man, but getting the kids to sit still and watch his show was another matter. Droopy, Master Detective ran for only one season on Fox’s Saturday morning schedule. Droopy didn’t seem to care either way.